I Invented the Smoothie!

I was eating a banana today, and started thinking about a snack I used to enjoy growing up. I would slice a banana into a bowl, pour orange juice over the banana slices, and eat them with a spoon.

Holy crap. I was one weird kid.

The breakfast of champions?
The breakfast of champions?

And yet, I remember how good it tasted. Plus, it had to be pretty healthy. Better for you than a bag of chips or a candy bar, right? When you think about it, this fruity concoction is really nothing more than a deconstructed smoothie, which means I was a pretty innovative twelve year old. With a potassium level off the charts, presumably.

No wonder I rarely get sick.

Do you know what this means, though? Are you picking up what I’m laying down here?

I invented the smoothie. 

This is not some baseless claim like Al Gore’s whole internet thing. Had I dumped the bowl into a blender and pressed START, I’d be rich! Instead, I am still a million bucks shy of being a millionaire.

Quick, name that movie. (Answer can be found below).

Unbelievably, this is not the first invention I was screwed out of. Back in college, I majored in Advertising. No, I’m not saying I invented Mad Men. But I had a Campaigns class, and our big project for the semester was to create and market a new product. I was living in California, where it’s sunny 300 days out of the year. People are obsessed with tanning, but that can lead to melanoma. So I thought, how about a self-tanning spray that would give you bronzed skin without the risk of developing cancer? I called it…drumroll, please…

Tan In a Can.

In the late 80s, there was no other product like this on the market. A year or two later, self-tanning sprays started showing up on grocery store shelves. Which means I also invented sunless tanning products. I often joke that my college professor quit the next year and was seen driving around town in a Ferrari. Because Tan In a Can is a real product now.

Tan In a Can

To add insult to injury, she only gave me a “B” in that class.

And here I am, still still a million bucks shy of being a millionaire. 

Which is a quote from Del Griffith (John Candy) in one of the greatest comedies of all times, Planes, Trains & Automobiles. If you don’t believe me, I’ve got three words for you:

Those aren’t pillows.

‘Nuff said…

23 thoughts on “I Invented the Smoothie!

  1. ” Because Tan In a Can is a real product now.”

    Mark, that is TOO funny! And you’re absolutely right about creating the smoothly because that’s the basis of a smoothly…banana’s and orange juice. Which reminds me, I’m addicted to Smoothie King smoothies during the summer months. I always order just the basic smoothie – bananas, strawberries, and orange juice. I also ask for extra ice because I like them thick.

    And I bet you would be awesome in advertising because you’re very creative and catchy with words!

    “Planes, Trains & Automobiles.”

    GREAT film!!!!!!


    1. I have to admit, I always had a knack for writing decent advertising copy – which is why I planned on becoming a copywriter. Only the advertising business is very cutthroat, and that is what I had a problem with. Which is why I didn’t write my first piece of professional advertising copy until 21 years after I graduated. Better late than never, though!


  2. I invented the cell phone. I remember asking a friend when “The Brick” car phone came out, during the early days of home computers and that new fangled modem technology, why couldn’t you somehow combine the two and make a phone that somehow also incorporated the InnerWebz? Of course, I clearly told the WRONG friend about this because they must have passed MY idea off to people who actually had a clue about how to do that and well…. you’re all welcome and I haven’t a penny to show for my thoughts. On top of that, a group of friends and I created and marketted “Google Goggles” way back in 1974 or 75 as a 4th grade class project!! Again, none of us has recieved a penny for our invention.


    1. I remember “The Brick!” Never had one, though. In fact, when I bought my (now ex-) wife and I our first cell phones, she asked me, “What are we going to do with these?” I just sort of shrugged my shoulders in response. I didn’t know, and for about two years, we didn’t do much with them. Which just goes to show, your invention was crucial to their popularity. Now I can’t live without my innerwebz-connected smart phone!


  3. Not just a smoothie, a deconstructed smoothie! You were like 30 years ahead of the foodie world! Damn!

    When my oldest was a baby, she was a pain in the ass when it came to taking liquid meds for ear infections, etc. I told my husband they need to make a fillable pacifier to put meds into. Noticed them on the market ten years later!


  4. I hate to burst your bubble, babe, but I think the guys at Orange Julius kinda invented the smoothie, way back in the 1920’s. But maybe you were channeling them, having a Shirley McClaine-other life kida deal?
    Eother way, I totally buy your tan-in-a-can grudge. Bummer.


    1. I remember when Orange Julius sold one thing: their namesake Orange Julius. Then they added a strawberry version, and it was like the world had fallen off its axis. Nowadays, they’re just like any other smoothie place around. Plus they serve hot dogs. It’s sacrilege!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Now have you learned your lesson? You don’t just give away ideas. You need to come up with an idea and monetize it fast! Because if you are thinking it there is a good chance ten other people are too. You need to beat them to the punch. And now when you do I want a cut for giving you this sounds, awesome advice 😉


    1. If you are still on the fence about a career choice, I think “consultant” would fit you nicely! You’re right about ten other people coming up with the same idea, making inventions pretty much a test to see who can reach the finish line first.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I totally ate banana slices in orange juice! But you still get invention rights because you’re older than me. However, when gravy on french toast takes off, I’m calling dibs.


    1. So it’s not just me! I’ll share the invention rights simply because you validated me. My daughter thought that was the strangest combination ever. Now I can tell her no, this woman in Wisconsin is down with it, too!

      But, umm…gravy on French toast?!


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